“To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.” So begins a popular Youtube video twist on the story of the woman at the well told in John 4. So much of Christianity speaks of Christ taking us as we are, no matter how ugly and torn we are.
Max Lucado, a popular christian author, wrote a book titled, “Just like Jesus” which explores what it means to have the heart of Christ. On its cover is this statement: “God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you there. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” Countless other christian books and worship songs carry this theme of love for the greatest sinner and the “least of these.” One of the great apostles, Paul (albeit reluctant to claim such a title) called himself the “chief of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:5). And indeed he could rightly say that without a speck of mock humility as the man who had the blood of Christians on his hands before his un-doing and then re-setting of his purpose. This is a small glimpse of the mercy and love told in so many stories in scripture.
With all this proof then, why is it so hard for some to accept this love? Speaking of a believer who has the knowledge of grace and love that overwhelms the consciousness when any wave of real understanding sets in. This is the love that inspires song and art and sacrifice. How then can one described feel so unworthy and nearly reject the gift from the giver’s hands? Sometimes accepting a gift undeserved can be a most painful experience initially.
The balance of a healthy view of self worth vs. a Barny Stinson sized ego is not always clear in christian culture. How do we view ourselves in light of a love God designates on his people? God rips the dirty red letter “A” off our chest and sews a patch reading “My Beloved” on instead. God is not a liar and won’t sell back what he has bought and paid for. The thing to do is to live as the Beloved.
One of Satan’s greatest tricks is to remind us that we weren’t worth it.It’s a cruel mind game that leaves you lost as a follower of Christ. The person you were is dead…..there is no going back to that body. What you have is the new body raised in Christ “to do good works” (Eph. 2). Believing that lie of worthlessness, even subconsciously, destroys movement and relationships. You cannot truly love and serve others,(or even love or serve God) and accept their love until you accept the love that never leaves or forsakes, never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on us-the Beloved ones. As it says in 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.”
But how do you overcome the lie?